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    January 24, 2007

    Reality TV and cricket

    Simon Hughes writes in 'The Daily Telegraph' about a reality TV-cum-talent hunt show in India called Cricket Star, the prize being a contract with Leicestershire CCC. The judges include Kapil Dev, Sanjay Manjrekar and Ajay Jadeja.
    The eviction, involving Manjrekar stepping forward to remove the Cricket Star badge from the doomed player's breast pocket, before he is cast out through the studio door, may sound brutal but it does make great TV.
    Simon Hughes also alludes to voting on religious lines.
    The first eviction episode threw up another dynamic in Indian cricket – racial bias. It has often been alleged that players of a minority religion have trouble getting recognition in certain states. The left arm quick bowler Zaheer Khan, for instance, a Muslim, initially couldn't get a game for Hindu-orientated Maharashtra. In the studio, two players were up for eviction – Agha Ali Hasan, a Muslim from Hyderabad and Ranjan Singh, a Sikh from Lucknow. They had all got on famously for the two weeks they'd been together. But as his team-mates filed down the Parkinson-style stairs one by one with the name of their nomination written on a card, a strange thing happened.

    The first four were all Muslim: they voted to evict the Sikh. Then came three Sikhs and a Hindu. They voted against the Muslim. It was 4-4. The captain, Mohammed Abbas, had the casting vote. Sensitive to the situation and in an impossible position, he closed his eyes and selected one of the two cards at random. The name he picked was the Sikh.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 2:25 PM |
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    2 sledge(s):

    Funny guy this, Mr Simon Hughes ( or should i say "the Analyst").. Zaheer Khan has never played for Maharashtra. But he played Ranji for Mumbai but was discarded because of injuries (ditto Munaf Patel).
    Zaheer Khan then played Ranji for Baroda until last year before he was picked up by Mumbai again this year.
    Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Mumbai fall under the ambit of "Hindu dominated Maharashtra". Last time I checked, Mumbai was Maharashtra's state capital.

    By Blogger Homer (25-Jan-2007, 12:15:00 AM)  

    homer - In fact Zaheer has never played for Mumbai either. He did sign up for this season, but then got picked for South Africa. He started off playing under-19 level games for Mumbai but couldn't break into the first-class side. So he switched to Baroda. Then again, why'd Simon Hughes let the facts get in the way of a good story?!

    By Blogger Jagadish (25-Jan-2007, 9:58:00 AM)  

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